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Economy grows at 6.3 percent in first quarter

THE SLOVAK gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 6.3 percent in real terms over the first quarter of 2006 compared with the same period of the previous year, according to a Statistics Bureau estimate.

On the consumption side, the GDP was influenced by strong foreign demand, which rose by 18 percent from the same period last year, and domestic demand, which was up 8.4 percent.

Monthly nominal wages increased by 7.5 percent to Sk17,223 (Ř455) over the first quarter for a real growth of 3.1 percent, the SITA news agency wrote.

The Statistics Bureau also updated its forecast for Slovakia's economic growth for 2006. According to the new forecast, the economy should grow by 6.2 percent this year. The Bureau also expects that the average inflation rate to be 4.5 percent, while unemployment should be 14.4 percent. The average monthly nominal wage should increase by 7.7 percent to Sk18,600.

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